WEST PITTSTON – There has been a common theme to both of the winning nights the Pittston Area boys basketball team has enjoyed this season.
“It opened up tonight,” Patriots coach Alan Kiesinger said of the running game following a 54-42 victory Friday night at Wyoming Area in the 11th annual Eugene R. DeMinico II Memorial Game. “And, really against Hanover Area, it was the same.
“We were able to run. That may be a sign. Those are the two wins we have.”
Jordan Black was a big reason why. The team’s Most Valuable Player award winner for the game was effective in many facets of the game when the pace picked up.
“I like it when we’re pushing the ball up the floor,” said Black, who had game-highs of 18 points, 11 rebounds and five assists along with two blocked shots. “I just like fastbreaks.”
There was also a common theme to the two stretches that allowed Pittston Area to take control of Friday night’s game.
Both runs were fueled by strong defensive stretches.
“They were defensively driven and really driven by the boards,” Kiesinger said. “We really rebounded defensively and that got us out into transition, which helped us out.”
The Patriots took charge with a 23-2 run over a stretch of nearly eight minutes in the first half. They put the Warriors away by holding them scoreless for almost 6 ½ minutes spanning the third and fourth quarters while scoring seven straight points.
Wyoming Area had the game’s first run, scoring nine straight points, for an 11-4 lead late in the first quarter.
Kyre Zielinski, who was the Warriors’ MVP selection with 12 points, 10 rebounds and three steals, scored his team’s first six points of the game. Tony Saitta, who finished with a team-high 16 points, had the last five of the streak.
Black had six while the Patriots were scoring 13 straight – four to end the first quarter then nine to start the second and take the lead. He completed that streak with two baskets in transition, one off a drive and another on a 17-footer after Alex McAndrew’s steal and long, lead pass.
“He had a nice game,” Kiesinger said. “I think he’s getting a little more comfortable in his role. He has to be a scorer this year. Last year, he wasn’t really asked to do that.”
Wyoming Area scored one basket, then Pittston Area scored the next five for a 27-13 lead, the biggest of the first half, with 3:07 left.
Black started the streak with a drive, assisted the next two baskets with an outlet pass off a defensive rebound and an entry pass to Pat Mitchell in the post. He completed the 10-point streak and 23-2 run with a tip-in on the break.
“We rebounded better,” Black said. “And, we hit our bigs in the post a lot. Pat Mitchell was doing a great job.”
Mitchell finished with 14 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots. He had three more points in the seven-point second half streak, which he capped with a foul shot for the game’s largest lead, 46-31, with 3:49 left.
McAndrew added 10 points, five rebounds and three steals. Chris Klein came off the bench to contribute seven points and four assists. Colin Smith blocked a game-high three shots.
Both teams ended the night with 2-4 records. Pittston Area broke a four-game losing streak.
Wyoming Area 37, Mountain View 34
Wyoming Area held Mountain View to seven first-half points Wednesday night while posting a 37-34, home-court victory.
The Warriors opened leads of 9-4 after one quarter and 20-7 at halftime.
Sam Greenfield led the way with eight points while Matt Wright added seven.
Dean Faramelli had 14 to lead Mountain View.
Nanticoke 52, Pittston Area 41
Scott Stout scored 23 points and Brent Piontkowski added 17 Wednesday to lead Nanticoke past Pittston Area, 52-41.
Dylan Osticco scored 13 points, including seven in the fourth quarter, to lead the Patriots.
The teams were even in three of the four quarters, but the Trojans a 15-4, second-quarter advantage to take a 24-13 halftime lead.
Scranton Prep 81, Pittston Area 36
Logan Bailey scored 19 points Monday to lead host Scranton Prep to an 81-36 romp over Pittston Area.
The unbeaten Cavaliers, the defending Lackawanna League Division 1 and District 2 Class AAA champs, took leads of 19-13 after one quarter, 46-25 at halftime and 68-27 after three quarters.
Jordan Black led Pittston Area, scoring all 23 of his points in the first half. He had all 13 of the Patriots’ points in the first quarter and all but two of the team’s points in the first half.
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